Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State on Monday said the storm drainage projects being executed by the State Government in parts of Warri and Effurun would be ready in 2022.
He stated this while speaking to newsmen after inspecting the flood control projects which are ongoing in the areas.
The governor, who was conducted round the projects by the Director-General of Warri/Uvwie and Environs Development Agency, Chief Ovuozourie Macaulay, said that the challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic slowed down the pace of work of the projects.
He, however, assured that his administration would scale up activities on the projects to enable the government to deliver them in 2022.
“Before we started this project, I had already informed you that there are going to be four different storm drainage projects for us to fully drain Warri of the flood water.
“We have taken on the first two major projects, one in Warri South Local Government Area and the other in Uvwie Local Government Area. The other two are smaller drainage projects.
“We have gone to several points today and you have seen the two different contractors, CCECC Nigeria Limited and Levante Nigeria Limited, and they have taken us through their various sites and the various works they are doing.
“It’s quite a lot of work and I have noticed that a lot of work has been done already and a lot more is going to be done.
“The contractors are on course and I am happy with the standard of work and I just hope that we will be able to keep to time because the COVID-19 and the lockdown slowed down the pace of work last year.
“Apparently we are several months behind, because it’s supposed to be a two-year project.
“I believe that with the rate of work we will not be able to keep to time but we will be able to finish the project sometime in 2022,” Okowa said.
He expressed delight with the quality of work done, adding that the job had been very impactful on the people of the area.
The governor said that his administration embarked on the storm drainage project after undertaking a study of the topography of Warri and Effurun.
He declared that henceforth, “any project on drainage must be a product of study.
“I am glad that we used a consultant to do the study in Warri and that of Asaba and you can see that the contract is being executed in line with specifications.”
He ruled out payment of compensation for buildings on the Right-of-Way, obstructing the drainage projects.
According to him, any building project started in the last two years within the right-of-way will not be compensated.
Okowa said that the state government would encourage the contractors to ensure that the time lost during the COVID-19 lockdown would be regained.
“I have noticed that there are buildings in the right-of-way and unfortunately, people built on water ways and it ought not to be.
“However, those that have formal approval and they are not directly on water courses will be paid compensation but those who deliberately built on water courses hoping to get compensation because of the work going on will not be compensated.
“I saw some new buildings going on and those buildings will be brought down and we are not going to pay them compensation because I warned them two years ago and therefore anybody who started his construction within the last two years will not get a dime from the state government.
“Government will no longer tolerate a situation where a few people will cause chaos for the general public,” he stated.